Croatia is expected to be completely mine free by 2019. That is according to estimates compiled by the Croatian Mine Action Centre (CROMAC), the Croatian organization in charge of demining. Eighteen years after the end and just after joining the EU, Croatia has yet to cope with the presence of unexploded ordnance. Over the years, there have been fatalities and many were wounded even among civilians. In a joint effort, companies which operate in the field of humanitarian demining--such as Tornado d.o.o.--and manufacturers of vehicles for the clearing of mined terrain--such as PrimeTech--are working to achieve full mine clearance within the prescribed time limit.
Tornado d.o.o and PrimeTech: A Successful Partnership
Tornado d.o.o is one of the leading Croatian companies in the field of humanitarian demining. Since its foundation in 2001, the company has successfully completed around 95 projects within Croatian territory, for a total of approximately 23 milion m2 of cleared land.
The company, now numbering 50 employees, is one of the largest in Croatia. Over the last few years, Tornado has acquired invaluable experience in dealing with any type of mine (both anti-personnel and anti-tank) or unexploded ordnance (grenades, explosives, etc.). No fatality or even minor accident has ever been reported. This attests to the reliability of the company, who only employ highly trained personnel and uses high-tech vehicles and technology.
Tornado d.o.o. first liaised with PrimaTech--a manufacturer of tracked vehicles for various applications (such as forestry and road construction)--in Sibenik, at the Humanitarian Demining Symposium. Tornado d.o.o. were favourably impressed with the performance of the PT-400 D:MINE during field-tests and decided to purchase it. The PrimeTech vehicle was later certified by Croatian Mine Action Centre - Centre for Testing, Development and Training Ltd, in accordance with the CWA-15044:2009 standards for the "test and evaluation of demining machines".
PT-400 D:MINE Technical Specifications
PT-400 D:MINE (cat. Heavy Machine), features an armoured cabin. It is powered by the 415HP Caterpillar engine and the FAE 500/TD tiller. Thanks to its armoured and certified cabin, the PT-400 D:MINE can withstand the blast wave generated from the detonation of AP and AT mines. Mine clearing can therefore continue without interruption, even in the event of accidental mine explosions. Tornado d.o.o reports that the machine coped successfully with both AP and AT mines. Detonation of anti-tank mines may cause minor damage to the rotor. However, thanks to a quick replacement system for the tools and tool holder, worn-out parts may be swiftly replaced using a few tools in less than 30 minutes.
On the FAE 500/TD head, the rotor operates approximately at 380 rpm and uses 58 round-type tools together with 2 side scraper tools. These all mount a carbide tip and are mounted on a wear-proof steel WELDOX® tool holder.
PT-400 D:MINE and Tornado d.o.o: Joint Action in Croatia
To this day, the PT-400 D:MINE has cleared over 3 million m2 in Croatia. The machine performed flawlessly on any type of terrain: on abandoned agricultural land, on unsurfaced roads and even on overgrown land. There, the 500/TD tiller also performed excellently as a forest mulcher.
Results were optimal even on extremely hard grounds, such as those parched by typical summers in Slavonija (Eastern Croatia). This is the type of ground where Tornado d.o.o. used PrimeTech's high-tech vehicle more intensely. 350 hectars of very compact land were cleared with an average hourly productivity of 2.670 m² in the region and an achieved working depth of 28 cm. And of course that can be handled effortlessly by a machine which can reach a depth of 35 cm under ideal conditions.
Slavonija consists of large tilled lowlands and of land partially covered by forests. Use of the PT-400 D:MINE made it possible to convert land that had lain abandoned for years on account of mines and overgrown vegetation into agricultural land. Experience acquired in the use of the PT-400 D:MINE in the region confirms the results of tests conducted by Croatian Mine Action Centre - Centre for Testing, Development and Training Ltd in 2010 to assess the vehicle's performance on thickly overgrown terrain, with tree stumps or shrubs. The machine was able to mulch trees up to 20cm in diameter on site. This is the type of convenience that comes from the know-how PrimeTech has refined in over 20 years of forestry experience all over the world.